We’ve been talking a lot about ICF applications over the past couple of months. People (contractors) have been asking. Some possibilities are unique, others are more typical. But one type of building we have yet to touch on, is a self-storage facility.
The demand for self-storage is on the rise in Alberta. With the energy sector experiencing ebbs and flows, specialized labourers and professionals are coming in and out of the province. Instead of lugging it all with them on each pass, they seek out self-storage for their wares. Then there is the trend in residential downsizing. Households are abandoning the need for large lavish homes, yet have no intention of getting rid of the possessions they’ve collected over the years. Their stockpile of outdoor recreational equipment, antiques, seasonal fashions, documents, and other items common to self-storage units are placed within for safe keeping. Whatever the necessity may be, the success of a self-storage operation depends on one thing – confidence. Locker/unit renters and leasers need to feel confident that a facility will protect their possessions.
If you’ve been tasked to build (or design) a self-storage facility, you want to place that consumer-driven requirement at the top of the list. And only one form of modern construction can provide that peace of mind both clients and their consumers are looking for – insulated concrete forms.
3 Reasons Why Insulated Concrete Forms Have Become the Method of Choice in Self-Storage Facility Construction
Climate controls are extremely important when it comes to self-storage facility construction in Alberta. The province experiences extreme temperatures in the winter and summer months. While modern storage units are more climate controlled than they were in the past, the requirements of each unit are unique. In one locker, someone may be storing antique wooden furniture. In another unit, someone may have tucked expensive fabrics or electronics away for safe keeping. Seasonal temperature and humidity fluctuations can impact each. Blanketed climate settings for the entire facility may not cut it when it comes to these fluctuations, unless the building is constructed with insulated concrete forms.
ICF provides a continuous layer of insulation. NUDURA (supplied by Total ICF) walls have a high storage capacity with low thermal conductivity. The insulated concrete forms provide optimal levels of thermal mass. This stabilizes the internal temperature, both night and day, and essentially provides a self-regulating environment. Simply put, items placed within ICF constructed storage facilities will be safe from anything the Alberta climate can throw its way.
The stated R-Value of 23.59 also equates lower monthly utility expenditure, which your clients will appreciate when it comes to optimizing longterm costs and ROI.
Secure from External Threats
Building security is right up there when it comes to top-level self-storage building requirements. External threats include storms, fires, and human interference. Our (via NUDURA) insulated concrete forms can withstand storm winds (hurricanes and tornados) of up to 402 kph, or 250 mph. ICF is also non-combustible, constructed with steel reinforced concrete and a non-toxic fire-retardant expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam that offers a fire protection rating of up to 4 hours. When it comes to security concerns regarding human interference, ICF is also an optimal solution. It is designed to accommodate reinforcement bars and maintains a blast radius of just 6 feet against 50 lbs of military grade TNT. No other traditional storage facility building method can offer this kind of security.
Negates Pest Infestation
One of the biggest concerns a self-storage facility operator has are pests. Imagine how fast their reputation would fall if renters/leasers opened a unit to find their possessions have been gnawed away and infested by insects or rodents? Pest infestation is a very real threat to the self-storage industry. Once again, ICF is the solution. Insulated concrete forms are resistant to termites, insects, mice, rats, and all other natural pests. The concrete barrier, waterproof membrane, and available Preventol option (a low toxicity termiticide) makes it so. Another preventative feature is found in the fact that insulated concrete forms don’t allow an environment conducive to pests. ICF’s thermal properties prevent mold, mildew, and rot, all conditions that normally attract them.
Let’s talk about how we can help you get started on your storage facility building project in Alberta. Contact Total ICF at 403-887-2214.